UCARE: Undergraduate Creative Activities & Research Experiences


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UCARE Poster session, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Research Fair, April 2016, Lincoln, NE.


Copyright © 2016 Jordan O’Neal, Austin Schulte, Rafal Rakowski, and Matthias Fuchs


The research proposed here is expected to result in a crucial component used in a next-generation X-ray source. Typical conventional high-brightness X-ray sources (so-called synchrotron lightsources) are up to 30 football fields in size. Our group uses a novel technique based on ultrahigh-power lasers to develop a similar source that can readily fit into a single, university-scale laboratory. More specifically, the research conducted within this proposal will be concerned with the manipulation of beams of ultra-relativistic electrons, (electrons that move with almost the speed of light) with the goal to focus the particles into an area that is smaller than the diameter of a human hair. X-ray sources are commonly used to resolve the molecular constituents of matter on the atomic-scale (i.e. to spatially resolve molecular structures and dynamics on their natural length and time scale). This requires X-ray pulses with Angström wavelengths (less than a billionth meter, 10^(-10) m) and femtosecond (a millionth of a billionth second, 10^(-15) s) duration.